Cumberland is spending some extra money for a SCADA system for the new treatment plant for drinking water. (Black Press file photo

Cumberland pays more for new SCADA system

New water treatment plant should be online in July

Council for the Village of Cumberland approved a motion to provide additional funding for its new water system coming online.

Manager of operations Rob Crisfield updated council members at their latest meeting on June 22, saying the Village expects to commission the new water treatment plant during the second week of July.

As part of bringing the new plant online, the Village had hired Muir Engineering to review the SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system in 2019.

“Part of that review was to recommend software upgrades because the old software … is old and antiquated. It’s not supported anymore,” he said.

A staff report said the old system lacks the capacity for expansion.

Staff had also hoped previous reserve funding would cover the new SCADA system for not only the new software but some hardware upgrades.

“As we delve into this a bit more, we need a bit more money to complete this,” he said. “We need to complete this in order to bring everything on.”

Council had approved $30,000 for the SCADA upgrade in the current capital budget. The Village now needs to cover an additional $15,000 from the water stabilization reserve to finish the upgrade. This includes the new SCADA system, additional communications equipment and labour costs.

In response to a question from council, Crisfield explained what SCADA improvements do for the water treatment system.

“They tie your equipment into a central computer system in essence,” he said. “It gives you the ability to monitor real-time what’s happening with valves, turbidity levels, chlorine levels.”

Staff also use it to collect data to report to Island Health.

“It’s not only integral to collecting data but running our system day to day,” he added. “It really helps you monitor stuff.”

The staff report also notes the Village is planning to incorporate monitoring for watershed and dam structures in the future.

Coun. Jesse Ketler said that while she was not happy about the additional costs, she was pleased the Village would be getting a good system. She also wanted to know about an old chlorine shack and whether it will be taken down once the new water treatment system is running.

Crisfield responded, “The plan is to keep that in place for a year.”

After everything has been set up and found to be working properly, staff will consider decommissioning it.

“That’s the plan for now,” he said.

Council passed a motion to approve the expenditure and amend the current financial plan bylaw to reflect the additional cost.

RELATED STORY: Cumberland water plant costs come in higher than planned

The water treatment plant, itself, has incurred higher than expected costs recently due to issues over land access and additional requirements from BC Hydro for the site.

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